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By: Perry Akasha Lonsdale
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"The Importance of Emotional Intelligence"

- by Akasha Lonsdale

(c) Akasha Lonsdale. All Rights Reserved.


For centuries, emphasis has been placed on academic
learning, qualifications and how intelligent a person was,
ie: their IQ. Anything emotional was encouraged to stay
hidden behind the “stiff upper lip” rather than being
acknowledged and expressed. Attending “the school of hard
knocks” was character forming. When employee training was
introduced in the business world, the programmes focused on
areas relating to reason and logic – anything to do with
interpersonal relationships was wishy-washy and classed as
soft skills.

However all this is changing and not before time. The
advances in neuroscience and brain imaging techniques have
enabled scientists to confirm what we all suspected – that
when we are confronted by situations that are life
threatening or that we “perceive” are so, reason and logic
fly out the window and what emerges is a primitive, ready-
to-fight Neanderthal in modern day attire. The section of
the brain responsible for this instant bypass is the
amygdala, hence the new term “the amygdala hijack”.

So for the first time, the importance of emotions has been
acknowledged. What we need to ensure is that those emotions
are appropriate to the circumstances and to do this we need
to develop emotional intelligence, which researchers now
consider to be far more important than traditional IQ.

Take, for example, a group of senior managers applying for a
top position. They might all have MBAs but who will make
the most successful leader? The answer: the person with the
highest level of EI – the person able to create resonance
with others, to display empathy and be an inspiring leader
without being a traditional autocrat. Conversely, in
research undertaken by Hay/McBer and Goleman, the two main
reasons found for key executive failure were:

Rigidity (unable to adapt or take on board feedback and
learn) Poor relationships (alienating others)
Daniel Goleman, who has pioneered much of the information
about Emotional Intelligence, categorises EI into four main
headings: Self-Awareness, Self- Management, Relationship
Management and Social Awareness. These are then subdivided
into a total of 18 competencies, with each competency
containing a number of checklist criteria. For example the
competencies within Self-Awareness are Emotional self-
awareness, Accurate self assessment and Self-confidence. The
checklist criteria under Emotional self-awareness being:

- Are attuned to their inner signals
- Recognise how their feelings affect them
and their job performance
- Are attuned to their guiding values
- Can often intuit the best course of action because
in a complex situation, they see bigger picture
- Tend to be candid and authentic, speaking openly
about their emotions or with conviction about their
guiding vision

An effective business leader will display strengths from at
least one of each of the sub categories.

So a good starting point is to become more self-aware. This
will mean that we can manage our emotions more effectively,
learn to communicate more authentically, take ownership of
what we think and say, develop empathy and respect
difference. The end result is that we feel more empowered
and the knock-on effect of that can only be positive.

About Perry Akasha Lonsdale
You can read more about Emotional Intelligence in Perry
Akasha’s book “How to do life – powerful pointers for
powerful living”. Packed with practical information,
insights and ideas, numerous tips, easy to follow How To’s
and Pause Points, this down to earth, reader friendly book
is essential reading for anyone who wants to be more
effective in their life and relationships.

Did You Ever Wish There Was An Instruction
Book On How To Do Life? Well There is!
Buy "How To Do Life" by Akasha Lonsdale

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About the Author

Perry Akasha Lonsdale is a businesswoman and psychotherapist
with over 30 years experience that includes senior human
resources, training, facilitation, consultancy, GP and
corporate counselling, executive coaching and inspirational
public speaking.

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